Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Konica Minolta

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 8, 2004, 4:11 PM   #1
Member
 
Clive Egginton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 43
Default

Ok, I've found other posters' first impressions useful, now that my own Z3arrived a couple of days ago, it's my turn to add a a few comments.

First, there are somesample images on http://kcegginton.fotopic.net (in an obvious collection) - these will be added to regularly.

I love the feel of the camera - quite robust and easily handled. The evf is a better size than the Panny FZ10's even if the lcd is smaller (I use the evf almost exclusively) but being left-eye dominant, the buttons areawkwardly placedforadjusting exposureetc.

Yes, I see the purple fringing and the noise but I also see shots that I couldn't get at all using other camerasin this price bracket. By default, I'm taking control of the white balance, on Auto you can see the colour balance shift as you move the camera, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

Like other users, I too am getting this vertical, purple smearing on both lcd and evf in certain lighting conditions - it disappears when the shutter release is half-depressed and it does not appear (yet) on any images but it is annoying - I thought that it was lens flare at first and I fear that it could easily maskflare in the future,possibly spoilingshots. Has anyone found an answer to this problem?

The firmware is version 1.01 annd I'm using a Bytestore High Speed 256Mb SD card and NiMHs. So far (touch wood) I've had no system lock-ups but haven't yet tried all of the drive settings (continuous etc). I haven't looked for the lines others have noticed nor for hot/dead pixels but hat's not to say that they're not there.

I am worried that the rubber cover for the usb port will eventually refuse to stay in position so at present I find that I prefer to remove the SD card and use it in a card reader. Mind you, this could lead to wear and tear problems of a more serious nature.My oldKodak Easyshare docking station is a much better idea.

I am appalled at the cost of the mains adapters - does anyone have experience of third party adapters or the spec of the AC-11's?

Enough for now - over to you.

Clive.






Clive Egginton is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 8, 2004, 8:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 130
Default

Thanks. More grist for the mill...
Did notice the faint 'horizontal lines' where you did on one picture. Seems to be on both the left and the right top but not the center top. If someone wouldn't have pointed that out (with a magnified crop) I would have never noticed that.
Didn't really see it on the other open sky shots.

What was the zoom to the Dudmaston Hall?

Great macro's.

Bill
wmussatto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 6:23 AM   #3
Member
 
Clive Egginton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 43
Default

Thanks Bill,

Yes, later I noticed the lines on the right hand side too. I'll be watching out to see if it occurs only under certain conditions.

The zoom on the Dudmaston shot was 35mm equiv - full wide-angle. I haven't really had time to look critically at these picture to see if any post-processing could improve them, I was just keen to upload a few. I think that I could use a camera with a built in spirit-level, I notice that some of my other shots look as though one of my legs is shorter than the other (perhaps that's what getting old does to you).

However, my love affair is over (it didn't last long did it?), last night (and again this morning) I put the camera intoProgressive Drive mode and rattled off a few shots. Did this once - ok. Did this twice - ok. Did this three times and THE CAMERA LOCKED UP!!! The only remedy was to open the battery cover for a few seconds. After, that the clock settings had been lost.

I will try to replicate this lockup using fresher batteries (the ones in use had been used all day but I was not getting any 'low battery' warning. I know that others have suffered this problem and I will be getting on to KM later today but in the meantime, has anyone any further information about the situation?

Clive.
Clive Egginton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 7:26 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
neomagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Default

Hi Clive,

I passively accompanied you during your whole decision finding process here in the forums. Whereas I still am in love with the Z3 my major gripe is the lockup issue in progressive mode as well. Since this drive mode is very effectiveand handywith bigger memory cards I'm very disappointed in Konika Minoltas quality control. The first Z3 I got had system errors for no apparent reasons and the dsplay went bad after a few days. Now this new one "merely" locks up without any notice when using progressive capture, which can only be remedied by opening the battery compartment.

Can any Z3 user positively say his camera doesn't have this problem? Some guy (007?) in the dpreview forum claimed, it often appearsunder the following conditions:

-use fine quality

-progressively shoot a bright window

-abruptly change to a dark object

Anyone?

neomagic,

Germany



P.S. On dpreview they're saying the clock function is messed up, too (inaccurate after just one day of using the cam). Didn't check on that yet.


neomagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 7:32 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 94
Default

Clive,

This lockup doesn't seem to depend on batteries. I can easily reproduce it by targeting a bright window, pressing the shutter button down, waiting for 5-10 shots, then quickly turn the camera something dark inside the room. The camera locks up at least 50% of the cases.

However, it seems to me that it happens only Fine compression mode, at least I couldn't reproduce it using Standard compression.
James Bond 007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 7:44 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
neomagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Default

There you are! :blah:

Right, not a battery issue. Could you other Z3 usersplease verify/falsify that this is a problem with the Z3 model in general? I am using a Toshiba Highspeed card by the way.
neomagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 8:18 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 208
Default

I have my Z3 for a little while now. I have had no lockups whatsoever. I admit I don't really use progressive mode all that much, but I have experimented with it quite a bit, and it never locked up. You mightinvestigate a faster SD card. Mine is a Sandisk UltraII and it is very, very fast.

I also notice the vertical purple smear when I point near a bright, close light source. It is annoying, but as you said, it does not show up on the pictures ever, it's just an LCD thing.

The camera has its limitations, and its weaknesses, but find me a camera in the $400-500 range with these kinds of features that does not exhibit some drawbacks. The Canon S1 supposedly has horrible low-light focus. My Z3 focuses terrific in any lighting condition. Seems to have a heck of a time focusing on 12x zoom, but once I hold down the trigger, it gets focused.

I have seen lots of noise in low-light, but having experimented with shutter and aperture control, I have sometimes managed to minimize or even eliminate the noise. There are tricks I have been reading about that actually are not very obvious. For example, you can trick the camera into metering the light based on where you center your view. Then, once you trigger half-way, you then re-orient your shot but the camera is locked into the light- and color-balance for where you designated. This is not obvious to anyone, but with practice you can learn how the Z3 'does its thing' and compensate accordingly.

Some last thoughts:

Regarding your concerns about the rubber cover to the USB port, I also noticed that it is a pain even to get it open. However, to save battery power and speed up transfers, I got myself a Sandisk 8-in-1card reader. It is so fast, sometimes I don't see the transfer taking place. I clocked it a few days ago. 96 MB took under 10 seconds to transfer.

I find the Z3 performs very well in daylight, and can do a decent job at night with the proper exposure/aperture/etc. settings.

The zoom is absolutely terrific. This is a feature that works well and leaves most other cameras' in the dust. If you like zoom, this is not going to let you down. See my other post in the KM group, I linked to a movie file zooming into LaGuardia Airport's control tower from very far away. You can see silouettes of the traffic controllers' walking around in the tower from about 1 mile away!

All in all, I am happy with the camera. I have found a few areas I'd like to see improved, but I think it was a good purchase.


DanielT2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 8:48 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Default

I've read many posts concerning firmware version of the Z3.

Does anyone know the procedurehow to check the firmware version on my Z3?

Also, and anyone tell me where I can get the latest version, if after I check it I find it to be downlevel?

I have an issue that some people have been able to fix with a new firmware upgrade. When I hook to XP on (only my home computer) and use the USB cable, it doesn't connect most of the time.

I like the option of using the cable, because always poping the memory card in and out may destroy the connections over time (then your dead)or destroy the spring lock for the card. Because it's usb2 my card reader is no faster. I use silicon grease on the usb connector (like what you buy for electrical connections on a car ignition) and this makes the small connector slide in and out easy.

I found the camera is noisy when indoor or dark photo's are taken. For those shots it seems a stronger flash is needed, but I've got around that problem (not wanting to spend the money on a KM flash) by using the free noise removal software at neatimage.com. This software is GREAT. I don't have many photo's to fix anyway. Taking photo's of just a couple of people close, indoors with the flash comes out with no or little noise. It's only when you push the flash beyond it limits (11ft, even though they say 15ft) that the noise starts to get annoying. I think it's reduced when I force iso100, but I have to do more experimenting. Sometimes I create 8x10's of group pictures indoors, and this is where I need to use the NEATIMAGE software. It does a much better job than even Adobe noise removal!

Occasionally I get a clock error, and have to go in and reset the time of day.

Other than that, the camera is teriffic for the price. I especially like the progressive mode and anti-shake. I've gotten some great shots hand-held at 48x but proped against a tree to try and hold it steady. At 12x I don't do anything special.

I've taken some pretty decient movies with it (have a 1G card) but I do NOT like the .MOV format. The editing software to add the movies together and convert the format takes a LONG time. Has anyone got a good idea for this. I have a number of good movie editing software packages but NONE of them support .MOV!

Oh yes, the ZOOM ZOOMS way too FAST and makes it hard to crop a photo. Anyone find a solution for this. It does have a slow mode, but only in the movie setting.






vscales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 4:40 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Default

Hi!

To check firmware-version on Z3 go into setup and press the makro-button.

macchina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2004, 5:30 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 130
Default

Well at least the lockup's are something KM should be able to fix with firmware. Does neatimage clear up the lines? Do they show up when you review them in the camera? If yes, you might try to turn the camera upside down and see if they reappear at the bottom of the frame. That would help determine if the problem is interference with the CCD or a firmware issue. Just a thought.

Bill
wmussatto is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:19 AM.